Course Organisations in Blackboard

If you are a new user of Blackboard please visit our Blackboard Basics pages. See also our Staff Development page for a range of training opprtunities.

From Autumn 2015, when you log into UniLearn (the new umbrella term for the integrated system which supports USW learning and teaching activities through technology) you’ll notice that the first tab you land on is the Home page.

From here you and your students can quickly access all your enrolled organisations, including any new course organisation(s). Course organisations have been developed to provide students with a more coherent and organised picture of their course within the Unilearn environment.

Each course organisation offers students access to all relevant information about the course including information about the modules that make up the course and links to the corresponding data stored in the Integrated Curriculum Information System. Students will also be able to view contact details for course team staff and student course representatives. They will be able to access the names of external examiners and other useful information, such as the course handbook. Twice yearly a course evaluation survey will be also be provided to students via the course organisation.

Announcements are another important feature of communicating through courses. Announcements will be course wide notices, relevant to all students enrolled on a particular course, thus allowing for wider communication than the separate module announcements. Additionally a general discussion forum is available should you wish to allow students to share experiences and/or discuss course wide issues with their peers.

Action Required by Course Leaders

Some housekeeping is required by the course leaders to prepare these Course Organisation, full information is provided in the organisations themselves from the Staff Guidance – How to use this Organisation menu item;

  • Enter staff contact information
  • Add Course Rep information
  • Add a link to the course handbook
  • Add external examiner information

Important note: You will need to ensure that all members of the teaching team are enrolled onto the organisation. For help see Adding other staff to a module/organisation

Action Required by Academic Managers

Staff missing from Organisation

We have based the creation of and staff enrolment into the Course Organisations on data present in the ICIS system. We are aware that this data is not always up to date so we have identified organisations that have been created with no Course Leader listed. Academic Managers have been alerted to this and have been given sufficient system access to address this.

What about existing Organisations?

If academic staff have been using a Blackboard organisation and are using this for Course communication and information they can continue using it if they wish – nothing is being deleted. The advantage of adopting the automatically created versions is that all students from all instances (years) are automatically enrolled and arranged into groups (they will even move between groups as they progress through the course years). See hiding organisations below if academic staff want to continue with their existing practice.

I need more time!

If academic staff want to ‘hide’ the automatically created one then go into the Course Organisation>Control Panel>Customisation>Properties and set availability to No.

Can’t find a Course Organisation?

We have based the creation of and staff enrolment into the Course Organisations on data present in the ICIS system. We are aware that this data is not always up to date so if academic staff are course leaders on an award and can’t see the course organisation on the Home page of unilearn then this could either be because a Course Organisation has not been created or the wrong staff have been added. Consider the following workflow:

Course Organisations workflow example